Licensing Provisions for the Rugby World Cup

With England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales all having qualified for the forthcoming Rugby World Cup taking place between 20th September and 2nd November 2019, many licensed premises will be hoping to maximise the business opportunity that usually accompanies such a high-profile tournament.

Japan, the host nation, are 9 hours ahead of the UK and therefore most matches are scheduled to kick off before 11am (i.e. prior to normal licensing hours). Whilst some premises licenses will have conditions that allow for the carrying out of licensable activities (such as the sale of alcohol) before this time, most will not.

At the end of last month, the Institute for Licensing stated on its website that:

“There will be no national exemption order for the forthcoming rugby world cup in Japan.

“The Home Office has confirmed to the Institute that…….” There are no plans to relax the licensing hours for the Rugby World Cup 2019.””

The Licensing Act gives the Secretary of State the power to make an Order (known as a “national exemption order”) allowing licensed premises to open for stipulated (and usually extended) hours on special occasions. Such an Order cuts down the volume of applications to vary premises licenses and club premises certificates during the period leading up to special occasions.

Some examples of “national exemption orders” recently include the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations in 2016, the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Royal Weddings in both 2011 and 2018. In the absence of a national exemption order, licensed premises hoping to trade outside the hours permitted by their premises license will need to apply for a temporary event notice (a TEN) or a succession of such TENs.

Should you require assistance in applying for a TEN or have any queries with regard to your premises license please contact Gillian Moir, Managing Associate on 0191 3842441 or who will be delighted to help.

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